Group of lawmakers seek stronger response to sexual assault - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Group of lawmakers seek stronger response to sexual assault

Hawaii State Capitol Hawaii State Capitol

By CATHY BUSSEWITZ
Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - A group of Hawaii lawmakers wants to strengthen the state's response to incidents of sexual assault.

A proposal in the state Senate would re-establish a statewide sexual assault response program.

The Senate Committee on Ways and Means passed a bill to tackle that plan on Wednesday.

The bill lays out guidelines for testing DNA evidence collected by health care providers. It sets timeframes for processing the DNA and mandates including the DNA evidence in a state database.

The Honolulu Police Department supports the intent of the bill but says it's concerned about the cost.

Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland says Hawaii was a leader when it established its system for responding to sexual assault. But she says the long-standing program recently lost its federal funding.

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